Saturday, May 31, 2014

Key to Texas Tea Party success? The 7 percent solution

Excitement Mounts! Sort Of

Gail Collins, NYT
MAY 30, 2014

We’ve learned so much this election season. True, almost nobody has noticed yet that there’s been voting. But trust me, the lessons are mounting.

For instance, in Texas this week, the Tea Party had a wave of triumphs in critical primary runoffs. We thought the Tea Party was dead! What happened? The secret may lie somewhere in the wave of political excitement that swept through the state and drew an energized 7 percent of registered voters to the polls.

Yes! Around 1 out of 13 voters showed up in Texas, and our first lesson is that strange things happen when you hold an election and nobody comes. You can, for instance, wind up with a hard-right nominee for attorney general who violated state securities regulations and then excused himself by pointing out that the law was “very complicated.” Or you can discover another major line on the ballot is going to a guy who once boycotted the prayer in the State Senate when it was offered by a Muslim cleric.

That would be Dan Patrick, the new Republican nominee for Texas lieutenant governor, who ran as “a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third.” The lieutenant governor is, admittedly, not a job that most people get concerned about. In New York, our lieutenant governor is ... Bob. But Texas is different. This is possibly the most powerful office in the state, and the Republicans have nominated a man to fill it who once claimed Texas was being threatened with “third world diseases” like leprosy from an invasion of illegal immigrants.

(More here.)

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